What do you do with non-paying clients?
Thread poster: Mariflor Salas
Mariflor Salas  Identity Verified
Venezuela
Local time: 03:59
English to Spanish
Nov 19, 2002

Me and several other translators (probably some of you are among this group) are owed a considerable amount of money by a \"reputable\" U.S. translation company. Back in April, the company CEO sent us a letter apologizing for the delay in general payments citing diverse problems. Well, it\'s almost the end of the year, they still owe money to all (or most) of us. Some of us (not me. I refuse) keep doing work for these people and no one is getting paid. I´m running out of patience. What is the best course of action here? What do you recommend?

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Armando Pattroni  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 02:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Name the agency Nov 19, 2002

You are helping that reputable US agency when you complain about thir practices and you don\'t name it. Who are thos guys? What you can do is hire a collecting company (if you are in the US) or else, ban the agency in the many blue boards around the web. If you get paid, it\'s very easy to delete the comment in any of them. That\'s what I usually do, apart from never ever work for that agency again...

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Csaba Ban  Identity Verified
Hungary
Local time: 08:59
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
been there, done that Nov 19, 2002

The biggest problem is when the client simply stops responding to your queries. This happened to me once, and some 1000 dollars were gone forever. Apparently the same company (Arthur International, Utah) did likewise to hundreds of other translators in the world. Since then they went bankrupt and ceased to exist.



If the client does respond, but keeps delaying payment, you still have some (fair amount of) hope. Try being assertive but not aggressive. You may want to contact a debt collection agency (such as Dun and Bradstreet, www.dnb.com). This particular one deals with freelance translators on a regular basis, so they are a good choice. When I had a notorious non-payer client (also from the U.S.) last year, after a couple of months of correspondence I started mentioning Dun and Bradstreet, and, surprise, surprise, the amount owed was on my bank account the following week.



There are also some internet forums and newsgroups dedicated to payment practices and non-payer clients.


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Judy Rojas  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 04:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
Take action! Nov 19, 2002

First of all, name the agency. You can always add a later comment indicating that they paid. Then...here is what I did when Lionbridge owed me for several past due invoices (totaling more than US$ 7,000).



I contacted their CEO and politely explained the situation and requested immediate payment. I also politely explained to him that if I did not receive a wire transfer in 48 hours I would take the following steps:



1. I would contact everyone of the members in his Board of Directors explaining the situation.



2. I would contact all the client companies listed in their Web site indicating how much they had promised to pay me per word to do their translations and the fact that even though I had deliver a quality product (I had congratulatory e-mails from their PM) the company was not paying.



3. That I would place their name in the many payment practices forums available at the time (the Blue Board had not been implemented then).



4. That I would contact the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission with details of the problem.



Guess what. I got my money in 48 hours.



Hope it helps.





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Armando Pattroni  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 02:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
D&B is no longer collecting money Nov 19, 2002

I spoke to the peruvian branch of D&B http://www.dnbperu.com.pe/esp_default.asp and they informed that they are no longer working as a debt collector agency (I mean worldwide). They promised to respond my inquiries because they claim that the business of collecting money has separated from them under a new name. I\'ll keep you informed.

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ROLANDO A. HERNANDEZ
Local time: 01:59
English to Spanish
WHAT IS THEIR NAME? Nov 19, 2002

WHAT IS THEIR NAME?

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Robert INGLEDEW  Identity Verified
Argentina
Local time: 04:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
PUT THEM ON THE BLUE BOARD AND SEND THEM A COPY Nov 19, 2002

I did that with an Agency of Belgium that took far too long in paying me. I put them on the blue board with the lowest mark (1) and stated that they had not paid me for months. I send them a copy and told me: \"please help me to modify this mark\". Within a couple of weeks they had paid me.



Please excuse me not mentioning the agency but since they finally paid me I have no problem pending with them. Obviously, they did not call me again. But there is no point of working for an agency with which you have had bad experience in the past.



Robert Ingledew


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Susanna & Christian Popescu GbR
Germany
Local time: 08:59
Romanian to German
+ ...
Put them... Nov 21, 2002

on as many black lists as possible, as not all of them know ProZ.

See:

smartgroups.com - TransPayment

http://translation.search-in.net/deutsch/index_d.php3 (Service)



and then write them a note and ask if not paying you is worth this kind of publicity.


[addsig]


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Armando Pattroni  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 02:59
English to Spanish
+ ...
Irreversible problem Nov 21, 2002

I had an irreversible problem with one non-paying client. He owes me around $1000 out of $2000 agreed. He started paying in small parts till we reached 50% of the agreed amount. After that he stopped sending checks, and it\'s been about 9 months ago (the job was completed on Feb 2001!). Several months after he ceased payments, I put a comment on his blue board (it\'s the only comment in HIS blue board). He wrote me an email begging me to withdraw that comment, but he responded with a comment in the blue board. When I tried to withdraw the comment, I couldn\'t so it because the ProZ sistem wouldn\'t let me do it (the system claims that I can not delete the comment because the agency itself has posted a comment on my grade). So, sad as it seems, I can not delete the comment and the agency (unfairly) claims that they won\'t pay till I withdraw the comment. They even refuse currently to answer my mails. I am going to contact DNB now.

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:59
English to German
+ ...
Have you submitted a support request? Nov 21, 2002

Quote:


Several months after he ceased payments, I put a comment on his blue board (it\'s the only comment in HIS blue board). He wrote me an email begging me to withdraw that comment, but he responded with a comment in the blue board. When I tried to withdraw the comment, I couldn\'t so it because the ProZ sistem wouldn\'t let me do it (the system claims that I can not delete the comment because the agency itself has posted a comment on my grade). So, sad as it seems, I can not delete the comment and the agency (unfairly) claims that they won\'t pay till I withdraw the comment. They even refuse currently to answer my mails. I am going to contact DNB now.



Rightly so - although I believe that if you contact ProZ using a support request, they can manually remove that entry. One of the reasons why you can\'t delete your comment once an agency has responded is to avoid agencies \"bullying\" away negative comments.



That said, I have serious doubts as to whether they would have paid up, had you been able to comply - my impression is that they\'re using the (legitimate) BB entry as an excuse.

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cailin
German to English
+ ...
blue boards Jan 10, 2003

can anyone please give an indication of other sites that list bad payers or any hints to help me find them on the internet?

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 08:59
English to German
+ ...
Here are a few lists Jan 11, 2003

Quote:


On 2003-01-10 11:55, cailin wrote:

can anyone please give an indication of other sites that list bad payers or any hints to help me find them on the internet?



Your profile does not (yet?) indicate your country of residence, but given your working language pair, I suppose the German \"Zahlungspraxis\" list de.groups.yahoo.com/group/zahlungspraxis/might be relevant. Search the forums for \"PP\" and \"TCR\" - don\'t have the URLs for these two, but I\'m sure you\'ll find them here.

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Marie Lauzon  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 02:59
English to French
Thanks for the info, it will be useful... I have a client who seems reluctant to pay ! Jan 26, 2003

Quote:


On 2002-11-19 19:15, chilean1 wrote:

First of all, name the agency. You can always add a later comment indicating that they paid. Then...here is what I did when XXX owed me for several past due invoices (totaling more than US$ 7,000).



1.

...

(see chilean1\'s post above)





_________________



[ This Message was edited by:on2003-02-11 20:53]

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